I don’t classify myself as a quitter. I finish. I complete. I cross it off. There’s just something so gratifying about crossing it off your list and saying “done”.
However, I learned a valuable lesson: walking away from something can be the best thing you’ll ever do.
To this day, I don’t use the word quit when it comes to my experience in grad school. I simply say “I walked away”. And, I never looked back.
My mom asked me awhile ago: “Do you regret it?” And I quickly replied “absolutely not”. Then I took a moment to examine why regret never sank in, when all my life I hated the thought of quitting. Why?
Because once I stepped away from that moment, I allowed myself to live. I no longer allowed someone else’s rules dictate what my life would look like. Their expectations, were just that: their’s.
Taking a year away from my so called “life plan” granted me the permission to sit back and really think about what I wanted. I mean, I am a completely different person today than I was when I concocted the “plan”.
What did Melissa want out of her life? Did the salary matter? What about the prestige? Did the initials after my name make my life more meaningful?
Spending a year devoid of purpose and happiness made me realize that being happy and being surrounded by positive and motivated individuals were what I wanted. I know, that sounds dramatic, but I wrote about my depression awhile ago, and I’m over the judgment that comes along with it.
We all have these grand plans, elite expectations, and picture perfect thoughts of what our life will look like. In your teens, you may have imagined you would be married, have the perfect job, and dog. Then you get here, and it’s nothing like that. You’re single, living by yourself, and working for free.
And guess what…??? I wouldn’t change one thing.
Getting to this point of contentment and peace with yourself comes with learning to quit, learning to say no, and realizing that you create the rules. You don’t just fall into the perfect job, find the perfect guy, or live a completely happy life. These things take a lot of failures. A lot of learning what doesn’t work. A lot of “quitting”.
To sum it up, here is one of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs:
“The hardest thing is, when you think about focusing. You think focusing is about saying “Yes.” No. Focusing is about saying “No.”
Have you ever quit something? Did you find it difficult to deal with the stigma around quitting?